(Florida Museum of Natural History) Florida’s iconic wildlife includes the American alligator, the Florida panther, the scrub jay and the manatee. But some species unique to the state are less familiar, like the ultra-rare blue calamintha bee. First described in 2011, scientists weren’t sure the bee still existed. But that changed this spring when a Florida Museum of Natural History researcher rediscovered the metallic navy insects.
(Minnesota Public Radio) The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is putting the finishing touches on the state’s first comprehensive survey of this corner of the earth. Hundreds of scientists have spent more than three decades scouring the state, county by county, for rare and common plants and animals, as well as intact ecosystems that represent the land as it once was. “And what we’ve found is a mix of not so good news and good news.”
(Reading Eagle) “About five years ago, I heard about ground-nesting bees under the I-78 Schuylkill River bridge at Hamburg… These abrupt digger bees, also known as eastern chimney bees, are the only species in the eastern U.S. that make mud chimneys like this… Then I learned there was going to be a major construction and enlargement of the bridge…”
(Smithsonian Magazine) Last year, black bee hives were introduced to Wisbech Castle in England, as part of an effort to conserve the rare critters. Now, thousands of the castle’s bees are feared dead, following an inexplicable attack by two intruders. The British black bee, also known as the dark European honey bee, is native to Britain. The subspecies was thought to have all but died out until several colonies were identified in 2012.
(WBAY) “Epeoloides pilosulus has garnered a large amount of interest because it is considered one of the rarest bees in North America. Though long suspected to be in the Lakewood area, these are the first confirmed records of the species in Wisconsin since 1910 when it was caught in Dane county.”